WELL we made it to 10 – 1. One more win (or a Cowboys loss on Thursday), and we clinch the NFC East. After that, we’re just playing for home-field advantage. This game was all about taking care of business and the Eagles came out and did just that. While many people said this was a trap game, I said right off the bat, that it wasn’t. And I was right. As usual. You’re welcome.
EAGLES 31 – Bears 3
Congratulations to TE Zach Ertz (10 – 103 – 10.3 – 1) for being the first Eagle to have a 100 yard receiving game this season. QB Carson Wentz (23/36 – 63.8% – 227 – 3 – 0) found Ertz early and often making it look easy, against a defense that I’d heard was supposed to be good.
No one had a stellar game defensively, but as a unit our Defense held the Bears to 6 rushing yards on 14 attempts. That’s 0.4 yards per carry. The worse part is, if not for the QB’s 11 yard run, the final numbers would have been -5 yards on 13 attempts.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Set hard edges: The Defense did an excellent job of setting the boundary and stringing outside runs wide. On the day the Bears ran for a TOTAL of 6 yards. We did this like a motherfucker. (DONE)
2) Rediscover our TE: 10 catches for 103 yards and touch. (DONE)
3) Don’t get cute: We saw no trick plays, or any other overt sign that the Eagles were regarding the Bears as a joke opponent. The team (for the most part) took care of business. (DONE)
4) Punt the ball: I get going for it on 4th and 1. But 4th and 6? With a big lead? It showed little regard for winning the hidden yardage battle. It also de-emphasizes the urgency of 3rd down, if players think we’ll just go for it on 4th down, like we did today (6 times on 4th down: 2 punts, 3 of 4 conversions.) (NOT DONE)
This weeks score is a solid 3 out of 4, with the overall season’s mark being 37 of 44 (84.0%). In all honesty, even the one thing we “missed” this week was sort of a show of power. If it were against a better team, it would be something to laud. This however was just the 3-7 Bears. So “meh”.
On The Whole:
The win margin was huge, but we got really sloppy once the 4th quarter started. That happened because Head Coach Doug Pederson, took his foot off the gas. Once the Eagles coaching staff mentally checked out, there was a noticeable fall-off in player effort out there. This is not the sort of attitude that a team this young can survive with in the playoffs.
We got to 10 wins and that is something to celebrate and be proud of. Step One of the mission however, is still not complete yet. We still need to clinch a playoff spot.